The move from trainee to NQ definitely comes with a step up in responsibility and you are gradually entrusted with more complex work. I am fortunate to work within a great team of supportive colleagues who I can rely for guidance as I navigate that transition and build the foundations of my career.

I am a lawyer in the government, regulation and competition (GRC) team, having qualified into the team after completing my traineeship with Brodies. My role is exciting, challenging and rewarding – it might be a cliché but I can honestly say that no two days are the same.

What does being a public and regulatory lawyer involve?

We act for a wide range of clients across the public and private sectors. Our public sector clients include a host of local authorities and public bodies, and our private sector clients feature companies in sectors such as food and drink, oil and gas and construction. We also act for all sorts of clients in between including universities, charities and professional bodies.

The work I am involved in as an NQ is very varied, spanning from advising clients on high profile judicial reviews to supporting them through complex internal and external investigations. We act for clients in all kinds of settings – that includes in the classic court setting that comes to mind when you think of litigation, but also other settings like specialist tribunals, regulatory processes and public inquiries.

My contribution to the team's work differs from day to day; one day it might be document review or drafting an advice note, the next it might be taking a witness statement or representing a client in court. There are lots of opportunities for client and counsel contact as an NQ and you are definitely encouraged to partake in that wherever you can.

Why did you decide to be a public and regulatory lawyer?

I have always had a passion for public law and heavily focused my honours studies at university on public law subjects. When I was considering what seats I wanted to do as a trainee, GRC seemed to be the one that aligned the most with my academic interests and I wanted to see if that translated into practice.

Fortunately, it did, and I really enjoyed not only the public law aspects of my seat but also the other types of work I got involved in such as competition and corporate crime. Having a broad practice as an NQ, where I could get experience in a number of different areas before specialising later in my career, was really important to me and GRC undoubtedly offered that.

I also massively benefit as an NQ from being surrounded by experienced colleagues who are leaders in their field. I have learnt so much from my colleagues already and can only stand to learn more as I progress in my career.

What opportunities are on offer at Brodies?

There are lots of opportunities at Brodies to get involved in the wider community. In particular I have really enjoyed my involvement in the PRIME initiative. I have also participated in our career insight days and delivered sessions to students replicating the experience of presenting a case in court.

Brodies is also a great place to work for continuing professional development. The firm offers an excellent internal training programme on both practice area specific topics and general skills that are important for lawyers to have. That ongoing learning and development helps me to feel that I'm on top of trends in my industry and to deliver better advice to clients as a result.

We also have a fantastic cohort of in-house solicitor advocates at Brodies, several of whom I am fortunate to work with regularly, and the firm is keen to support other colleagues to qualify as solicitor advocates where they have an interest in doing so. As someone who has a real interest in developing my advocacy skills, the commitment by the firm to investing in solicitor advocacy is something I value highly.

Why do you enjoy working at Brodies?

The quality of work that I am involved in as an NQ is second to none. There is no shortage of intellectually challenging questions that have you heading down to the library and getting the textbooks out – sometimes it even feels a bit like being back at university! I have always enjoyed my academic pursuits and feel grateful that I get to bring that with me into my professional life.

Brodies is invested in my personal development and in helping me to shape my career into what I want it to be. Where I have expressed an interest in getting involved with particular types of work, that has always been welcomed and accommodated which makes for a very positive and motivating environment to work in.

Finally, the culture is really important to me and is something which is difficult to appreciate until you experience it. I can honestly say, over two years after joining the firm, that everyone I have met here is genuinely kind, friendly and welcoming. Despite being one of the biggest law firms in Scotland with hundreds of colleagues across several offices, there is a real sense of community and collegiality at Brodies that I think is hard to find.

Being a lawyer can be a demanding and stressful job at times but it is made that much easier by always having people to turn to for support – and for me that is the best thing about working at Brodies.

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Emily Tarbet